Who, sir? Me, sir? A catechist?!

Well, I’m not a catechist. Not yet, anyway. But I’ve been grousing about the deplorable state of catechesis in our parishes for a long time now and my theologian friend asked me today, “Why don’t you do it?”

Do what, I said.

“Be a catechist. You could even train catechists.”

You’ve got to be kidding, I said.

“No, I’m not. You’re very passionate about this. Think about it: there are probably lots of people who would love to be better catechists if they only knew how.”

Yeah, well, who’s gonna train me, I said.

And that’s when he just gave me that sidelong look. You know the one. The look that says, “You do it, dummy. You’re the one who’s always complaining that no one teaches the faith and no one teaches the teachers how to teach. So do it!”

Oy, how I hate that look. But my friend has a point. I hate it when he has a point. But he does and there’s no denying it. I’m just wondering who’s gonna teach me. Oy ve!

Of course, I have to admit that I’ve thought about this (okay, dreamed about it) for years. Studying Catholicism is one of my burning passions and I love to share the faith with others. I’m always getting into conversations with folks and explaining the Catholic view on various issues. I’m amazed at how often Catholic teaching is misrepresented, misunderstood and completely unknown by those both outside and within the Church. The elections that took place a few months ago were proof of that utter lack of understanding of even the basics of Catholic doctrine. And this, among large numbers of people who have been Catholic for many years, even since childhood.

How did this happen? One reason is: many Catholics stop learning about and growing in their faith right after Confirmation in their teenage years. Personally, I find this hard to understand since I’ve been interested in religion ever since I can remember and have devoured a ridiculous number of books, tapes and CD’s on the subject. True, I wasn’t raised Catholic but I’ve done my best to make up for lost time, believe me. Of all the religions I’ve studied, Catholicism is the most vast, beautiful and truly awe-inspiring.

That is, by the way, exactly what they used to be called: the awe-inspiring rites of initiation. And that is exactly what they should be. Awe-inspiring. And that leads me to the subject of my next post. See you there.

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